~ PVN staff report
LURAY — The third annual Page Valley Sunflower Festival will highlight a Labor Day weekend full of live musical performances, a wide array of activities for the kids, and plenty of family fun all across Page County.
Visitors are welcome to come clip sunflowers on Saturday from one of three fields planted by members of the Page County Farmers Association adjacent to Ralph Dean Park in exchange for a donation to the Page Alliance for Community Action (PACA). All proceeds will benefit the non-profit agency focused on promoting healthy families in Page County.
The festival starts with a 1K Fun Run beginning at 9:30 a.m. on a course that flows around the sunflower fields. Registration for the Fun Run begins at 9 a.m. at the Class of ’71 shelter. To register online visit pagecoalition.org
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, festival activities at Ralph Dean Park will include hay rides to the sunflower field, lawn games, petting zoo, bounce house, pony rides, interactive butterfly tent, pumpkin painting patch, bird feeder craft, inflatable corn maze, axe throwing and more. Pony rides are $5. All other activities are free, as is admission.
Those who visit the “Welcome” tent can pick up clay medallions that can then be used at shops and restaurants in Downtown Luray for discounts and specials at participating downtown businesses. For those already downtown, “follow the sunflowers” to find the festival. Ralph Dean Park is located at 625 Sixth Street in Luray. A list of participating businesses can be provided at the Welcome tent, as well as QR code for a map to find those businesses in Downtown Luray.
The Page Valley Arts Council will help coordinate live music in front of Steve Mauck Stadium with several acts planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A special performance by the Shenandoah Valley Cloggers will take place at noon.
In addition, the 2022 Page Valley Sunflower Festival will feature 22 craft vendors and seven food vendors. First launched in 2019, nearly 2,000 visitors attended last year’s event after a break in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sunflowers for this year’s event were planted in cooperation with the Page County Farmers Association, who along with PACA, the Arts Council and Southern States, partnered with the Town of Luray and the Luray Downtown Initiative to sponsor the event.
Pickin’ at the Post
Three consecutive days of finger-pickin’, foot-stompin’ bluegrass music kicks off Friday at the ninth annual Pickin’ at the Post. A total of 15 bands will perform from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 2-4, at Luray VFW Post 621 (218 Veterans Lane) just off Route 211 east of Luray.
This year’s event is being referred to as “Bo-Grass Weekend” in memory of Bo Rodgers, who along with his wife Beth, started the festival nearly a decade ago. Bo passed away in January.
This year’s event is at capacity with 116 campsites reserved, but walk-ins are welcome at the gate for $10 a day or $25 for a three-day pass. All proceeds go to support local veterans.
Friday includes performances by Rapidan Ridge (11 a.m. and 5 p.m.), Back Creek Valley Boys (12 and 6 p.m.), Copper Canyon (1 and 7 p.m.), New Grass Associates (2 and 8 p.m.), and Clearcut (3 and 9 p.m.)
Saturday’s performances include Just Wingin’ It (11 a.m. and 5 p.m.), Josh Grigsby and County Line (12 and 6 p.m.), California Ramblers (1 and 7 p.m.), Virginia Rain (2 and 8 p.m.), and a Build A Band Contest at 3 p.m.
On Sunday, the lineup features the Mark Templeton Band (11 a.m. and 5 p.m.), Virginia Ramblers (12 and 6 p.m.), Blue Ridge Thunder (1 and 7 p.m.), Dark Hollow (2 and 8 p.m.), and a Build A Band Contest at 3 p.m.
There will be more than 200 silent auction items to bid on, and concessions will be available. A supper break will be held at 4 p.m. each day.
On Friday night, Sept. 2, the Town of Luray will feature another installment in its Evenings on Main music series as Cazhmiere hits the Ruffner Plaza stage at 7 p.m. The concert is free.
On Saturday, Sept. 3, the Town of Shenandoah will host another installment of its Music in the Park series with Reincarn8ed hitting the stage at Big Gem Park (736 Fourth Street) from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees should bring a lawn chair or blanket. Beef barbecue, chicken quarters, pork barbecue sandwiches, chips and drinks will be available for purchase.
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